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Issue 36

(Spring 2022)






Dimitris Kollintzas: Some thoughts on the correspondence of Byzantine modes and makams arising from the case of Doxology in the acem asiran makam written by Parthenios Mileos in the New Method


During my on-site research at the library of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos, I spotted three unknown musical manuscripts, the contents of which I presented in a paper delivered at the 3rd Psaltic Conference of Crete. One of them includes two Doxologies of Parthenios Mileos which were written using the New Method of Notation. In this article, É undertake a partial musicological analysis of one of these Doxologies, which is written in makam acem asiran. Comparing this Doxology to the well-known Doxology of Chourmouzios in echos varys concludes to their identification. In addition, É attempt to match makam acem asiran to Byzantine music modes. Finally, reasonable concerns regarding the identification of makams and byzantine modes and possible confusions derived from the specific method are raised.



Nikos A. Dontas: Operas and operettas of Greek composers at the Greek National Opera. A first approach


The article adheres to matters of cultural management and management of cultural inventory in the realm of Greek opera and operetta. The aim is to provide specific and measurable facts that will contribute to distancing from emotional approaches as regards the contribution of the Greek National Opera (GNO) in supporting stage works by Greek composers. Being a result of primary research, these facts relate to how the only opera company of Greece dealt with operas and operettas of Greek composers, both contemporary and historical, since its foundation in 1940 and up to 2016, and offer an obvious basis for further research. As will be shown, quantitative results may lead to qualitative conclusions, revealing the way in which GNO dealt over time with Greek opera and operetta. They give evidence on whether and to what degree GNO supported contemporary Greek composers and the extent to which it has promoted historical heritage. The comparison of the Greek National Opera to the Athens Festival and the Athens Megaron (The Athens Concert Hall), two major actors of Athenian music life who have also been active in the field of opera and operetta, contributes to reaching further conclusions.



Zafiris Nikitas: Interartistic osmosis: Theatre and music in the 1960s


The article looks into the relationship between music and theatre during the 1960s and focuses on three case studies; specifically, the performances of Mikis Theodorakis’ The Ballad of the Dead Brother and Manos Hatzidakis’ Street of Dreams in 1962 and Jani Christou’s collaboration in ancient Greek tragedy performances of Prometheus Bound in 1963 and The Persians in 1965. I analytically examine the above case studies by focusing on their genre-oriented, ideological and aesthetic connotations. Furthermore, I present the hermeneutic schema of my analysis based on the following six pillars: genre experimentation; individuals and collectivities; popularity or eclecticism; nation and cosmopolitanism; political and (a)political; ritual and performance. The article concludes with a short epilogue. As I argue, music acted as a vital means of artistic dialectics in the 1960s, leading to the aesthetic evolution of modern Greek theatre and making music a highly important aspect of theatre.



Panos Vlagopoulos: The wealth of descriptions or Wittgenstein and Adorno on music: Essay before an analysis


Adorno’s extraordinary music analyses have received comparatively little attention in the reception of his challenging oeuvre. Their most striking feature is the fact that in them Adorno avoids the use of a music-analytical jargon; with the possible exception of basic music-theoretical terms which belong more to common language than to a specific terminology, such as Schenkerian or pitch class set analysis. Adorno’s discursive politics thus seems to converge with central choices in Wittgenstein, even though the two philosophers never crossed paths. Their common distrust of jargons revisits an old philosophical trope, of which the Epicureans have been the first ardent advocates. Wittgenstein used the difference between Psychology and Psychoanalysis to illustrate the uniqueness of aesthetic matters: the former, aspiring to scientific rigor, seeks for causes on the basis of a scientific hypothesis; the latter (exactly as is the case with Ethics, Aesthetics and Philosophy) offers reasons on the basis of a description or representation. In his analysis of Berg’s Piano Sonata, op. 1, Adorno presents us with a description by means of which we can “overlook” the whole work (in the Wittgensteinian sense of the verb). We are thus able to comprehend “at a glance” a piece of music in relation to which we feel caught up, charmed or even bewildered.


Apostolos Palios: 15 Little Variations for piano solo: Violinist Nikos Skalkottas as an interpretative guide of his own work


Although Skalkottas consciously “sacrificed” a likely full of promise career as violin soloist for the sake of compositional engagement, however not at any point freed himself from the creative identity of his violinistic alter ego. This observation is particularly noticeable (also) in his piano compositions, especially in his atonal masterpiece 15 Little Variations, composed in 1927 during his “Berlin period” as a direct reference to Beethoven’s equivalent 32 Variations in C minor, Wo0 80. On the one hand, the present study puts under criticism the Skalkottian work as a typical sample of absorption of violin and string orchestra’s elements into the composer’s pianistic writing regarding articulation, devices, tone color and style, aiming at showcasing an executant approach for the pianist in view of the string player; on the other hand, it provides a proposed interpretation of performing the composition’s phrasing in relation to the symmetry as well as the asymmetry of the variations.


Dimitris Kotronakis: Guitarists and composers for guitar in the 19th and 20th centuries, in the Greek world and the Diaspora: Known and unknown aspects of guitaristic art and literature


This paper attempts a thorough presentation of the guitar history in the Greek world and the Greek Diaspora, from the early 19th to the late 20th centuries. Particular emphasis is placed on the presentation of individuals which played an important role as performers, teachers, composers, and authors of guitar methods, as well as on their contribution to the development of the instrument. In addition to Greek musicians, the study includes guitarists of Greek origin who lived and were active abroad, as well as guitarists without Greek origin, born abroad but lived in Greece and became Greek citizens. The article highlights the achievements of these guitarists, as well as major events and landmarks of the Greek guitar scene. Guitar composers are traced, forgotten compositions and unknown musicians are documented, the peculiarity of musicians having the double identity of being both a guitarist and a guitar composer is analyzed, and special aspects of the art of guitar are explored. Finally, this paper examines the influence of Andrés Segovia on the evolution of guitar in Greece, at the critical moment after the Second World War.


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